Jennifer Siebel Newsom Testifies Against Harvey Weinstein: "He's Looking At Me"

Jennifer Siebel Newsom Testifies Against Harvey Weinstein: “He’s Looking At Me”

Jennifer Siebel Newsom spoke at Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault trial on Monday and was set to accuse the fallen Hollywood mogul of raping her when she was a struggling actress nearly 20 years ago.

An emotional Siebel Newsom told a downtown Los Angeles jury that when she met Weinstein in 2005 at the Toronto International Film Festival, she was a 31-year-old actress and filmmaker who considered him “the pinnacle of Of the industry”. At the time, she said, she had yet to meet her husband, Governor Gavin Newsom.

Asked by a prosecutor to identify Weinstein in the courtroom, Siebel Newsom covered her face in her hands, sniffled and wiped away tears before pointing him to the defense table.

“He looks at me,” she said.

Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein appears in Los Angeles court

Harvey Weinstein appears in court at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles on October 4.

(Etienne Laurent/Associated Press)

At the film festival, she said, she was talking with friends in a bar when she noticed “everyone backed off” as Weinstein approached her and introduced himself.

“I felt like the Red Sea was parting,” she recalls. “I don’t know if it was deference or fear.”

She said she found Weinstein both charming and intimidating, but was flattered that he seemed curious about her budding career.

Weinstein asked to meet her later that evening at a hotel bar, she testified and went there with a friend. The judge overseeing the trial took a lunch break before questions about the sexual assaults were raised.

Siebel Newsom seemed eager to testify Monday morning, but she was also visibly nervous. At one point, she stopped and told the court, “Sorry, I just need to take a deep breath.”

The governor accompanied Siebel Newsom to the courthouse, but the court did not allow him into the courtroom for his testimony, an adviser to Newsom said.

As his trial enters its fourth week, Weinstein has already faced scathing testimony from six different women who say he used his influence to isolate them in hotel rooms and assault them in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Porto Rico and Toronto. Many of the women had previously told their stories in detail in other court cases or through the media, but Siebel Newsom’s allegations against Weinstein remained largely veiled for years.

The women in the case testify anonymously, and The Times does not name the victims of sexual assault unless they have spoken out publicly or asked to be identified. Siebel Newsom accused Weinstein of abuse in a 2017 Huffington Post essay that was published just days after mainstream news outlets began reporting the rape charges against the Miramax co-founder. But his involvement in the Los Angeles lawsuit was not widely known until the Times first reported it last month.

Siebel Newsom was an aspiring actress when she claimed Weinstein assaulted her at a Los Angeles hotel. During his opening statement, the Los Angeles County Deputy District. Atti. Paul Thompson says Weinstein called Siebel Newsom to a meeting at a Beverly Hills hotel to discuss his acting career. A number of assistants were in the room when she arrived, but they quickly left, Thompson said.

After a professional discussion, Weinstein excused himself and went to the bathroom. He came back in his bathrobe and made advances to Siebel Newsom. Weinstein began talking about the women whose high-profile acting careers he had launched in a tone that “went from pleading to aggressive to demanding,” Thompson said, but Siebel Newsom dismissed it.

Then, according to Thompson, Weinstein pushed Siebel Newsom onto a bed, orally imposed himself on her, and then raped her.

Weinstein is charged with 11 counts of rape and sexual assault stemming from charges brought by five women who say they assaulted them at Los Angeles-area hotels between 2004 and 2013. Three of the women whose charges resulted in charges during of the Los Angeles trial have already testified.

Prosecutors made no mention of Jane Doe 5 throughout their presentation of evidence. Weinstein’s defense team has asked Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench to dismiss all four counts related to her accusation if she does not testify. Lench declined to do so, and Thompson did not comment on the woman’s status in the case.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said the prosecution had “witness availability issues” with Jane Doe 5 because she lives out of the country and cannot be brought to trial by subpoena. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the situation.

If convicted in Los Angeles, Weinstein would face a de facto life sentence. Weinstein was also convicted of rape in a 2020 trial in New York and sentenced to 23 years in prison there.

The tycoon denied any wrongdoing. His defense attorneys, Mark Werksman and Alan Jackson, have aggressively interrogated his accusers during cross-examination in recent weeks. Werksman said the assaults described in Jane Does 1 and 2 never happened and claimed some of the other accusers, including Siebel Newsom, engaged in ‘transactional sex’ with Weinstein to advance their Hollywood careers. .

“The accusers in this case, women who voluntarily played the game by the rules that applied at the time, they will come into this courtroom now, accompanied by their lawyers, and claim that they were raped and sexually assaulted,” Werksman said when it opened. statement. “They have to lie to themselves…to make it look like what they did consensually at the time was forced upon them.”

In perhaps the most stunning moment of the trial so far, Werksman also said Siebel Newsom was engaging in revisionist history to portray himself as a victim in the case. Otherwise, he said, she would be “just another bimbo who slept with Harvey Weinstein to get ahead in Hollywood.”

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